For the first time these dogs appeared in Swabia, in the German states of Bavaria and Württemberg in the 17th century. These first representatives of the breed were a variant of German Pinscher, but with thicker and more dense fur, which helps them to withstand the harsh winter and protect them from insect bites.
The origin of the breed is not fully understood but it is believed that the Giant Schnauzer was derived from the crossing between black German dog, German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Doberman, Boxer, Bouvier des Flandres and ordinary schnauzer. It was originally grown as a multi-purpose dog and was used as a shepherd dog. Since the beginning of the 20th century, the Giant Schnauzer was used as a guard dog of factories, butcher shops and breweries in Bavaria. It was first imported to the US in the 30s of the 20th century, but remains a very rare breed to the 60s, when it began to acquire popularity. It can be easily trained to obey and is also used as a pastoral dog and a lifeguard. In the US, these dogs are often displayed in exhibitions, in Europe, however, this is a rare phenomenon. The European breeders seek to develop the capacity of the breed and do not pay much attention to the appearance.
The fur of these dogs is very thick, making them resistant to extreme weather. The hair on the face of the Giant Schnauzer form a beard and eyebrows. Typically, there are two patterns - pure black color and "salt and pepper", where the white, black and gray hair is blended differently. Giant Schnauzer is an enlarged version of the Standard Schnauzer. The tail and ears of this dog are usually cropped. If the ears are clipped they are smaller, have a circular shape and are located at the top of the head. The dog's head is about ½ of the length of its back. The buttocks are flat, but well muscled.
Character and behavior
Giant Schnauzer dogs are usually quiet. However, they are very suspicious of strangers and may show strong territorial instinct. When implemented properly, they usually perceive new people or situations. These dogs can be aggressive, but usually do not show that side of their character. Giant Schnauzers are very affectionate when you are calm and very impressive when they are triggered.
Training and education
Giant Schnauzer dogs are very intelligent and therefore get bored easily. They need at least 1 hour of exercise a day. This can include walking or some kind of energetic play. Keep in mind that these dogs tend to exhibit disruptive behavior, such as chewing and digging. They love to have obligations and to execute commands. To avoid undesired behavior, teach them as many commands as you can. Avoid frequent repetition of the same exercise. Train them with determination and perseverance. You should become the leader without resorting to physical force or harsh words. According to some kennels, "salt and pepper" colored dogs are more calm and obedient than the pure black specimens.
The hip and elbow dysplasia is a common issue for this breed. Giant Schnauzer is susceptible to eye problems such as glaucoma, cataract, retinal dysplasia, Multifocal and progressive generalized atrophy of the retina. They are also prone to skin diseases such as vitiligo, follicular cysts, skin cancer, melanoma of the limbs and fingers. Non-cancerous skin tumors also occur frequently. Giant Schnauzers can develop diabetes, autosomal recessive hypothyroidism selective absorption of cobalamin, narcolepsy, cataplexy, and various other problems associated with seizures. Some of these wonderful dogs are sensitive to sulfonamides. Diseases related to bones and joints are also a serious problem. The most frequent cause of death is lymphoma and cancer of the liver. They are followed by heart attacks and heart failure. The average life expectancy is 10-12 years.
Grooming and care
These are very active dogs and feel best in a home with a large yard where they can expend their energy. The Giant Schnauzer has pronounced eyebrows and beard. They did not form naturally and their regular grooming is essential. Caring for a Schnauzer puppy include regular washing, bathing, clipping, trimming nails and cleaning ears.
Children and other pets
Don't leave your small children unattended, since this dog can just push the kid while trying to play with him. The Giant Schnauzer doesn't get along very well with other dogs, especially if they are of the same sex. You should not trust your pet when there are cats around.
According to statistics, puppies for sales of this breed are mostly sought by tycoons, lawyers and owners of large companies. The love of German Schnauzer to its owner and family is almost fanatic - they are willing to do anything to protect their master and please him.